Tag : big-bear

Hiking and Stuff at Big Bear Lake (with Photos)

It’s not so much a “poor man’s Lake Tahoe” as it is the Lake Tahoe of a man who doesn’t want to drive all the way to, well, Lake Tahoe. For being within 2.5 hours of Orange County, the Big Bear/Lake Arrowhead area is pretty nice. If I get ambitious and bored — happens often enough — I’ll do some sort of comparison between Tahoe and Big Bear (Tahoe has more and better variety of hiking, for instance, while Big Bear is, as stated, *much closer*).

Meanwhile, photos:

 Cougar Crest Trail above Big Bear Lake

I hiked the Cougar Crest trail there. Not exactly challenging, but it delivers pretty well on what seemingly every hike at the lake delivers on: nice views of the lake. From the campsite to the spot on the Pacific Crest Trail (that the Cougar Crest Trail fades into eventually) it was maybe 7 miles round-trip.

bkdunn Hiking on the Cougar Crest Trail

 Evidence that I may have been there.

Big Bear Lake with Ski Resort and Hills

That has to be one of the trickiest golf courses in the country.

Baker Lake, Big Bear Lake’s Neighbor

 Across a causeway from Big Bear Lake, this is actually Baker Lake. Not sure they needed to give it its own name.

Westward View from Baker Lake at Big Bear — the “Marsh”

Another view of “Baker Lake”, including the walkway that goes across the marshes there.

Anyway. Again, for being so close — really pretty. Would never have suspected that an area as nice as this would’ve been up there given the dry brown death atmosphere of the Saddleback Mountains here closer to home. Definitely worth the drive up and anyone living the area should definitely go there once.



PS, I should probably stop with the search engine-bait post titles. I think Google’s punishing me for something I thought about last week.

Camping at Big Bear Lake, Serrano Campground, Last Weekend

Went camping at Big Bear Lake over the weekend, at the Serrano Campground to be more precise.

Campfire at Serrano Campground on the North Shore of Big Bear Lake

 The Bad:

  • The people at the site next to mine had come from the ghetto and brought their booze with them. They were loud and went way out of their way to reinforce negative stereotypes. It’s amazing how many sentences you can form with a two-word vocabulary (f*** and n*****, in case you were wondering). That said, mad props out to them for (a) not fronting and (b) keeping it real.
  • At $26 a night for a campsite, I kind of expected it to include turn-down service.
  • The campsite wasn’t very flat.
  • It got down to 16° F overnight. 16°!
  • Some traffic noise from the highway.
  • Forgot to bring a hatchet or a mallet.
  • Only 2 of 6 roasted marshmallows truly hit the spot.

The Good (it was mostly good):

  • Became much better informed about both sides of the debate around whether or not it’s appropriate for a half-black, half-Mexican guy to call someone else a n—–. (Unfortunately the sheriff came before any conclusions were reached — *now* do you understand why I don’t like cops?!)
  • Hearing one of the neighbors machine-gun dry-heaving at 3 AM. It sounded like justice. Worth getting woken up for.
  • Plenty of tinder and kindling near the site and the campground guys went around in a truck selling firewood at dusk — convenient!
  • Didn’t need a hatchet and a piece of wood worked out great as a mallet.
  • Good ground for driving stakes into.
  • Located on the less-populated north shore of the lake, so you don’t even *suspect* that there’s a McDonalds 10 minutes away.
  • Much better cell phone reception than I get in Irvine.
  • Clean bathrooms.
  • Best fire I ever built.
  • Cold weather meant it was a great opportunity to test out my 0-degree sleeping bag. Grade: C. I slept through good parts of the night and never woke up chattering. OTOH, I slept wearing a stocking cap, underwear, t-shirt, camp-shirt, technical sweatshirt, fleece vest, parka, and wool socks. Oh, *and* pants. But still — a good test.
  • I like wearing headlamps and appreciated the opportunity to do so within a reasonable context.
  • Even with a 3/4 moon out, there were a lot of stars.
  • No bears.